A Good Year

After a year of running 50 (!) great stories, and being able to connect with some wonderful writers and readers, I have decided that this would be a good time to end things. To the writers: I've been incredibly proud to be able to share your work, and to help build both your confidence and your publication list. You are all worthy of bigger and better successes. Keep pushing. 

And to the readers: thank you. 

Alexander Brown, Editor 

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The Fat Rats -- Thomas Molander

“Do you like this movie?” she asked, looking straight ahead at the screen.

“I think so. I saw it a few years ago and I remember it made me feel nervous.”

“Have you seen Bergman’s other movies?” she asked. 

“No, just this one. I was going to start Fanny and Alexander the other day, but it’s too long and I didn’t—”

“Do you know Walerian Borowczyk from Poland? They called him a genius who just happened to be a pornographer.”

“I haven’t heard of him,” I admitted. “But I—”

“What about Isidore Isou?” she asked. “He was the founder of Lettrism, you know.”

“I’ve never heard of him, and I don’t know what Lettrism is either,” I said.

“Oh,” she said, staring at my face plainly. She looked down and started tearing a napkin with her fingernails.

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A Little Deceit -- Barbara Biles

This became a way of life; fights over real or imagined transgressions, then passionate reconciliations. If Darlene always thought he was off with someone else he might as well be. Their relationship turned down a dwindling path and never backtracked, not even when she called him up with the news that she was going to stay with her Aunt Helen for a few months. Not even when she told his parents. She had no business dragging them into it but they were pretty good about it, considering. "You're young yet," they had said.

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Love Forgives -- Katrina Johnston

Melinda staggered outside into the hard sunshine of 8:45 a.m. What now? Her cowboy boots smacked the gritty pavement. Jobless. Hopeless.

She paced down Kingsley, turned on Robson. Her husband, Chris, she decided, would be a raging bull. At first he’d be scared and then dramatic. He’d holler. “What an idiot,” he’d say. “Dumb ass.” But then Chris would relent. “Rice and beans – again?” he'd say that too. Love forgives. “Gotta carry on.”

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Haitian Crisis -- Gary Beck

Big Jean liked the bright young man who had left college in America and returned to help his family when his father died in the great earthquake on January 12, 2010.

"Do you have something practical to suggest?"

"I do. Since no one else will help us and no one else seems to care if we live or die, I believe we must look out for ourselves…."

"What a surprise," Louis said scornfully. "Look out for ourselves. Let's not waste any more time on this prophet."

"One moment," Big Jean said. "No one else has any ideas. What do you propose, Etienne?"

"We should become pirates," and he stared at the amazed council defiantly.

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Inspiration -- Joan MacIntosh

Darlene hurried down the steps of the old porch, past the garbage bins and raspberry canes that lead along the beach to the ferry dock. She carried a rolled up canvas, two large bags and a knapsack on her back, but, even burdened, she was almost running. Her gaze didn’t follow the flock of geese or the swaying tree boughs. Willow leaves delicately brushing the ground were invisible to her. Surf burst over the breakwater as she turned away, intent on reaching the docks and the ferry.

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The Rise and Fall of Ice Cream Headache -- Massimo Sartor

“It’s just our first gig. I don’t think we really made it—so maybe you can give that Cockney accent a rest,” snorted Mickey. He wasn’t well versed in the music industry, but the one thing he did know was that opening up for a band called The Urinals on a Wednesday night did not constitute as ‘making it’. They were many record deals away from there, in fact. 

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For the Love of His Daugher -- Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb

Like a well-dressed stalker, he approached the slender woman talking to a young girl. He loved the moments before he was seen, as it gave him time to anticipate the joy on his little girl’s face. Momentarily hiding behind a nearby elm, one of many in Town Square Park, he watched the two affectionately, secretly. He knew how precious life was and, after the death of his wife, how easily it could be taken.

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The Doorknob -- Alessia Di Marco

My front door stopped working. I know it sounds strange that something as simple as a door could suddenly stop fulfilling its purpose. The door itself is fine, I guess. Its structure remains intact and it stands there, perfectly shut, at the entrance of my apartment. It seems all right if you stare at it, but when you go to open it the knob just spins around and you pull and you yank at it but it doesn’t let you out. Seeing as it's the only conventional method of exiting my place, I’ve been a little stuck.

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